Lesson 1 - Introduction to Arduino UNO
& Multi Functional Shield

Welcome to The Complete Guide to Arduino Basics! In this course, we will be exploring the digital world of Arduino and learn to write codes for hardware. Follow along and develop your skills in the world of engineering.

What is Arduino?

Arduino is an open source platform based around programmable development boards that can be integrated into a range of simple and complex projects. The Arduino family consists of different types of development boards, with the most common being the Arduino UNO.

An Arduino board contains a microcontroller which can be programmed to sense and control devices in the physical world. The microcontroller is able to interact with a large variety of components such as LEDs, motors and displays. Because of its flexibility and sustainability, Arduino has become a popular prototyping development board which is widely used across the world.

Arduino UNO R3 Board Breakdown

Here are the components that make up an Arduino UNO R3 board and what each of their functions are:

1. Reset Button – This will restart any code that is loaded to the Arduino board

2. AREF – Stands for “Analog Reference” and is used to set an external reference voltage

3. Ground Pin – There are a few ground pins on the Arduino and they all work the same

4. Digital Input/Output – Pins 0-13 can be used for digital input or output

5. PWM – The pulse width modulation pins marked with the (~) symbol can simulate analog output

6. USB Connection – Used for powering up your Arduino and uploading sketches

7. TX/RX – LEDs to visualise data being transmitted and received from the board

8. ATmega328p – This is the microcontroller which stores the program and processes it

9. Power LED Indicator – This LED indicates the board is connected to a power source

10. Voltage Regulator – This controls the amount of voltage going into the Arduino board

11. DC Power Barrel Jack – This is used for powering your Arduino with a power supply

12. 3.3V Pin – This pin supplies 3.3 volts of power to your projects

13. 5V Pin – This pin supplies 5 volts of power to your projects

14. Ground Pins – There are a few ground pins on the Arduino and they all work the same

15. Analog Pins – These pins can read the signal from an analog sensor and convert it to digital

Arduino has many uses from coding simple projects to complex systems, demonstrating real life applications. The Arduino IDE is used to write programs and compile them to be loaded on the board. This supports a common programming language, C++.

Throughout the rest of the course, we will be exploring the Arduino board and learn programming techniques to build systems.

We will be using the above expansion board alongside the Arduino UNO, which is called the Multi Functional Shield. This integrates a wide range of components on to one board, eliminating the need to have wires. This MFS has many advantageous features which will be beneficial when coding high level programs. We must remember that when using the MFS with Arduino, the digital status is reversed meaning that HIGH = 0 and LOW = 1.

By Zaqyas Mahmood, Electronics Engineer